Mumbai may be home to some of the country's fanciest pubs and bars, but its heart resides in the dimly lit dive bars that have survived decades. These dive bars have earned legendary status among broke students scouring for cheap booze and middle-aged folks soaking in nostalgia. No matter what time of the day, the city that never sleeps comes alive in its most colourful avatar across these unapologetic dive bars, where the fine etiquettes of holding a wine glass by the stem find no place. If you are in the city, be sure to hit one of these iconic bars for the best vibe, unapologetic service and pocket-friendly delicious food.
Located in Colaba, Gokul is every Mumbaikar's all-time favourite place. Even on weekdays, you'd find the bar buzzing with contagious laughter and excited conversations, pierced by old Bollywood songs from the '90s. Here, order your choice spirit with a side of chicken lollipops and masala peanuts, and you're set for a wonderful evening ahead.
Address Gokul Bar & Restaurant, Apollo Bandar, Colaba
Yacht Resto Bar
Located in the posh Bandra West, Yacht Bar has long been a favourite haunt among many in the city. However, if you are searching for a place with swanky interiors and fine culinary experience, walk miles away from Yacht. But if you're searching for a place where you can turn evenings into nights, not be stared at for how loudly you laugh, all while enjoying a stiff drink and warm, old-school dishes like schezwan chakna and keema masala, Yacht is right up your alley.
Address 29, Hill Rd, Bandra West
Having been around since 2000, Janata Bar has earned many patrons since it opened its doors. From broke college kids to adults catching up for a post-work drinking session, the bar is frequented by people of all ages and from all walks of life. It is just the right place to enjoy a few drinks with your friends while gorging on spicy chicken sukka, bombil fry, and kebabs.
Address 78A, Pali Naka, Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Hill, Bandra West
Sunlight Restaurant And Bar
Located in Marine Lines, Sunlight is another popular South Mumbai joint thronged mainly by college students. It's so popular that scoring a seat in the AC section may be extremely difficult. The bar's vibe is reminiscent of the old-school, no-frills joints, complete with a jukebox, simple wooden table and chairs, great food and cheap liquor. Dishes like peanut masala and chicken 65 are a hit with their drinks.
Address 537, Ravindra Apartments, Kalbadevi Rd, Dhobi Talao, Lohar Chawl, Kalbadevi
This bar in Lower Parel is as famous for its food as it is for its cheap drinks. The menu features an endless list of favourite bar foods, from Thai to Maharashtrian. The interior is decorated and has a very old-school vibe that could transport you back to the '90s. If that's not enough, their playlist surely will. It's the perfect place to enjoy a chilled-out evening with your old friends over drinks and stories.
Address 63/65, Kalpataru Building, Dr SS Rao Road, Near Citi Bank, Lal Baag, Parel